The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

John Sheppard (1702-1724), Criminal

‘Jack Sheppard', criminal; son of a carpenter, brought up in Bishopsgate workhouse, arrested, 1723, as runaway apprentice and effected first of many daring escapes from St Giles's Roundhouse and New Prison; offended the notorious Jonathan Wild who secured his capture; condemned to death at Old Bailey, escaped, and after arrest near Finchley Common escaped again from Newgate; finally taken when in liquor and hanged at Tyburn; subject of many 18th-century plays and ballads and of W. H. Ainsworth's novel of 1839.
Described, aged 22, in the proclamation for his arrest: ‘... five feet 4 inches in height, very slender, of a pale complexion, with an impediment in his speech.' [1]

Footnotesback to top

1) Dictionary of National Biography, XVIII, p 61.

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1977, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.